"Kisses On The Wind" - Neneh Cherry
from the album Raw Like Sushi (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #8 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 8
Today's song of the day comes from the Swedish singer/rapper Neneh Cherry, who had taken her cameo on a remix B-side of a forgotten Britpop single and converted it into one of the most enjoyable hits of the decade, "Buffalo Stance". That song reached the top-3 on the American pop chart in the summer of 1989, by which time European audiences were enjoying her follow-up single there, "Manchild", which climbed to #5 in the UK and #2 in Germany. Catching up, the third single (and second in the US) was the uptempo dance-pop charmer "Kisses On The Wind". Written by Cherry with producer (and husband) Cameron McVey, the record starts out with some Spanish sass, and goes on to a frenetic view of life in the inner city for the young...
"Kisses On The Wind" became Neneh's second and so-far last top-40 pop hit in September of 1989. The 12" remix climbed to #19 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart. Internationally, the single went to the top ten in New Zealand (#8) and Switzerland (#9), and top-20 in Ireland (#13), the Netherlands (#14), and the UK (#20).
Her next U.S./Australia-only from the album, the new jack swing beat of "Heart", was a minor pop hit at #73, while in the rest of the world, the more experimental reggae of "Inna City Mamma" became a top-10 hit in the Netherlands at #6, and peaked at #31 in Britain.
It took three years for the release of Cherry's next album, Homebrew. The lead single, "Buddy X", was a big hit in the club, reaching #4 on Billboard's dance chart, but stopped short of the American top-40 at #43 (it did reach #35 in the UK). Another track from the album, "Trout", featuring R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, got Neneh played on rock stations, spending a week at #2 on the Alternative radio chart in 1993. A year later, she collaborated with Senegalese music star Youssou N'Dour on "7 Seconds", which was a massive hit worldwide, topping the charts in France and Switzerland, and making the top 10 in most of the rest of Europe (including the UK at #3). That amazing track (possibly her lyrical best) appeared on her 1996 album Man. Three other songs from the set made the British chart, with "Woman" returning her to the top ten in Britain at #9. Also, Neneh appeared on a charity cover of the Judds' "Love Will Build A Bridge" with Cher, Chrissie Hynde, and Eric Clapton that went to #1 in the UK in 1995. Her last British hit came as a featured performer on the Gorillaz' "Kids With Guns" (#27, 2006). And in 2008, she had a minor hit in her native Sweden providing vocals on Kleerup's "Forever". Her most recent album, Blank Project, came out in 2014, and features a cameo from fellow countrywoman Robyn on "Out Of The Black"...
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...and here's the "Spanish Mix" done by David Morales...
Up tomorrow: American expatriate and her band show you their method.